Iraq president names new PM but Maliki hangs tough

The move, which comes after months of political wrangling, is likely to be resisted by Nuri al-Maliki, who has rejected calls to drop his bid for a third term as prime minister.

Iraq president names new PM but Maliki hangs tough

World Bulletin/News Desk

Iraq's president on Monday asked Haider al-Abadi, the Shi'ite coalition's nominee for prime minister, to form a government, a spokesman for the main Shi'ite coalition said.

The move, which comes after months of political wrangling, is likely to be resisted by Nuri al-Maliki, who has rejected calls to drop his bid for a third term as prime minister.

Iraq's highest court earlier issued a ruling suggesting Maliki's State of Law Shi'ite bloc is the biggest in parliament and therefore was entitled to nominate a candidate for prime minister.

Haider al-Abadi called on Iraqis to unite against the "barbaric" campaign waged by ISIL militants whose latest sweep through the north has caused alarm at home and abroad.

"We all have to cooperate to stand against this terrorist campaign launched on Iraq and to stop all terrorist groups," he said in remarks broadcast on state television just after the president asked him to form a government.

A member of Nuri al-Maliki's political bloc said on Monday "we will not stay silent" over the president's decision to ask Haider al-Abadi to replace Maliki and form a new government.

"The nomination is illegal and a breach of the constitution. We will go to the federal court to object to the nomination," Hussein al-Maliki, Maliki's son-in-law, told Reuters.

Maliki has defied calls by Sunnis, Kurds, some fellow Shi'ites and regional power broker Iran to step aside for a less polarising figure.

Critics say Maliki alienated Sunnis, prompting them to support Islamic State militants who have seized a large chunk of northern Iraq and have threatened to march on Baghdad, posing the biggest threat to Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003.

State television showed footage of the president shaking hands with Abadi and telling him: "I hope you will be successful in forming a broader-based government."

Abadi is a low-key figure who spent time in Britain. According to his Facebook biography, his favourite quotation is "the key to leadership is tolerance".

Sectarian violence has become widespread in Iraq again, reaching levels seen when a civil war peaked in 2006-2007.

Educated at the University of Manchester, Abadi served as the head of parliament's finance committee, a political advisor to the prime minister and minister of communications.

The Godfather and The Matrix are among his favourite movies, according to a Facebook entry.

The decision came hours after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry warned Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki not to cause trouble as Washington threw its weight behind President Fuad Masum.

"We stand absolutely squarely behind President Masum (who) has the responsibility for upholding the constitution of Iraq," he said in Sydney.

"Our hope is that Mr. Maliki will not stir those waters," Kerry said.

Kerry also said that the formation of an Iraqi government was critical for stability.

“The government formation process is critical in terms of sustaining stability and calm in Iraq, and our hope is that Mr Maliki will not stir those waters,” Kerry told reporters in Sydney ahead of an annual Australia-United States Ministerial Consultations (AUSMIN).

“One thing all Iraqis need to know, that there will be little international support of any kind whatsoever for anything that deviates from the legitimate constitution process that is in place and being worked on now.”

Last Mod: 12 Ağustos 2014, 22:47
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